Saturday, June 28, 2014

CC Sabathia Allows Two Runs In Rehab Start

CC Sabathia has officially started Vidal Nuno's 30 day clock, also known as the final countdown (cue the music), with his first rehab start for the High-A Tampa Yankees tonight. CC started with a lineup of Jake Cave, Angelo Gumbs, Greg Bird, and Aaron Judge most notably behind him and allowed two runs in the contest. CC allowed a total of three hits and struck out two with a walk in 2.1 innings. Sabathia threw 36 pitches, 24 of them for strikes, and sat around 87-89 MPH with a few fastballs touching 90 MPH. Most important though, no injury, discomfort, or lingering soreness so it's a win for the Yankees.

No Offense Ruins Tanaka's Great Start in 2-1 Loss to Red Sox

Back on June 8, the Yankees went for 1-for-17 with RISP in an embarrassing loss to the Royals.

In the game, the Yanks' offense, probably the most inconsistent in baseball, had plenty of chances to score or take the lead, but didn't due to a lazy effort.

Well, that kind of frustrating performance unfortunately happened again tonight, as the Bombers wasted a dominant start from Masahiro Tanaka in a tough, 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Red Sox.

In the outing, Tanaka wasn't the slightest bit inconsistent, although he did surrender a pair of homers to David Ross and Mike Napoli, with Napoli's coming with two outs and two strikes in the top of the ninth. 

Interestingly, that blast from Napoli happened in his fourth and final plate appearance, following his striking out on the splitter in two of the first three.

Still, Tanaka (9 Innings Pitched, 2 Earned Runs, 7 H, 1 BB, 8 K) inexplicably didn't go with his signature pitch on the ball the Sox First Basemen hit into right field's first row, costing him the contest, as the Yanks' unsurprisingly didn't score off Koji Uehera in their last at-bat. 

That trend of not crossing home when it matters was recurring for Bombers in the loss, with them collecting just one run over 8 innings off Jon Lester.

That circling of the bases, not earned due to an error by Boston SS Stephen Drew, came in the bottom of the third, when Derek Jeter grounded out routinely to drive in Brian Roberts. 

Besides that, as you can see by the final score, the Pinstripes' bats just couldn't do anything, going 0-for-5 with men on second and third while also grounding into a rally-killing double play in the bottom of the eighth, wasting what looked like a very promising lead-off walk from Brett Gardner.

Game Thread: Yankees vs. Red Sox 6/28

Welcome to tonight's game thread and open thread for the game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Work is literally trying to kill me these last two days so I must apologize that there will be no game preview or cleverly placed meme tonight. I will try to do better tomorrow. Enjoy the game Yankees family and enjoy the rest of your evening. Go Yankees!!

Beating Red Sox a "Confidence Boost" For Nuno

Since May 7's 9-2 blowout in Anaheim, Yankees Pitcher Vidal Nuno has struggled to get wins.

The 26-year-old rookie, who joined the rotation in early May after Ivan Nova went down, only got through 5 innings without giving up 3+ earned runs once between the aforementioned date and last night's game against the Red Sox, making his recent 5.2 frame performance big for both him and the staff.

As expected, the series-opening W could also help out Nuno on a psychological level, something the youngster revealed to's Wallace Matthews after the victory. 

"Every day has been tough lately, just knowing that my command wasn't there," Nuno said. "It's been a grind. But I've been working on it. Pretty much it's a confidence booster tonight to show that I can still belong here and attack these guys with my stuff. I can win games."

Prior to the contest, some called for Nuno to be given the night off, as the Bombers didn't play Thursday. 

Fortunetaly, team Manager Joe Girardi didn't abide with those people's wishes, a decision that could turn out to be huge in how the month plays out, as the Pinstripes will now get to save Masahiro Tanaka for their July 3 opener in Minnesota.

Can't Predict Baseball: Branch Rickey Sucks

Branch Rickey is well known for being the man that essentially integrated Negro League baseball players into the major leagues when he signed Jackie Robinson to that historic contract way back when. While Rickey was generally thought of as a good administrator in this game of baseball he flat out sucked as a catcher. The Yankees catcher allowed 13 stolen bases to the Washington Senators on this day in 1907. Rickey would go down in history for the Robinson signing and would earn the nickname "the Mahatma" but it definitely was not for his on the field capabilities.

Also on this day 1919 the Boston Red Sox pitcher Carl Mays made of a day of it by pitching two complete games in the same day. The Red Sox and Mays would shut out the Yankees 2-0 in the first game of the doubleheader and would lose the second game 4-1. Coincidentally the Yankees would trade for Mays this season at the end of July, I guess the extended look at the submariner right hander didn't hurt.

Two complete games in one day by the same pitcher and 13 stolen bases off the great Branch Rickey, I guess it's true what they say Suzyn you really can't predict baseball.

Quick Hit: Nuno Gets Good As CC Gets Healthy

Doesn't it figure, or is it simply a coincidence, that Vidal Nuno throws the game of his life last night against the Boston Red Sox at home on the eve of CC Sabathia making his first rehab assignment start? Isn't that how it always goes for the Yankees? A guy struggles, the veteran is on his way back, the rookie improves, and another guy like Chase Whitley will be sent down when CC is ready to return after the All Star Break.

FYI here is the schedule for CC Sabathia's return:

Rehab start today: 45-50 pitches
7/3: 60 pitches
7/8: 75 pitches
7/13: 90 pitches

All Star Break

Return to the mound to start on 7/18 against the Cincinnati Reds at home? The break also allows us to reset the rotation and, if Joe Girardi chooses, have Masahiro Tanaka pitch technically in the number two spot.

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/28

On this day in 1939 the New York Yankees established the major league record for most home runs hit in a game in a doubleheader with a total of 13. The Yankees would sweep the Philadelphia Athletics on this day by beating the A's 23-2 in game one with eight home runs and 10-0 off five home runs in game two.

On this day in 1949 Joe DiMaggio finally came off the disabled list for the Yankees after missing  the first 69 games of the season with a heel injury. Joe D would hit four home runs in a three game sweep of the Boston Red Sox fresh out of the box.

On this day in 2009 Mariano Rivera joined a club with only one other member, the 500 saves club with Trevor Hoffman. Rivera also registered his first and only RBI of his career when he took a bases loaded walk in a 4-2 win over the New York Mets in Citi Field.